Motueka Community Swimming Pool  

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the things we are often asked about.

What happened with the planning of a new pool back years ago?
You're right. There have been at least two efforts over the past 15 years or so to raise money to build a new indoor pool in Motueka. These were back in the days when Tasman District Council had the project on their Long Term Plan, and wanted Motueka residents to contribute a part of the (roughly) $5 million cost. Then TDC decided that it should be funded by Motueka ratepayers through a targeted rate. A ratepayers' referendum, restricted to property owners, was held in 2008 and narrowly defeated. A few years later, in an effort to save money TDC decided to remove the project altogether from their planning process. After initially hurting from this major setback, our committee decided to continue with a "compromise" solution, to enclose the existing high school pool and share its use through an agreement. And that's where we are now.

Will any ratepayers' money be required for this latest project?
No, the project is now entirely community driven with all funds raised locally and through charitable funding agencies. We have decided to put the disappointments of the past behind us and focus on the positives and what we as community volunteers can achieve. Several of the original fundraising committee continue to "hold the faith" and are working with the new committee.

What happened to the money raised in the community before the new pool project was canned?
Sadly, a large proportion of it was spent on the preparatory feasibility study and engineering reports and designs that TDC required. (It was not returned to us when Council decided to back out.) Some of it - the non-anonymous donations which we could trace - was returned to organisations who contributed significant sums. And a small amount of it remains in the bank and is being used in the fundraising for this new project.

When will the covered pool be ready for use?
The timing pretty much depends on how quickly we can raise the money. The major step in the project - building the walls and roof to enclose the pool - is the most expensive and without it the rest of the work cannot take place. Our present best guess is that it will take all of 2016, 2017 and into 2018 to raise about $400,000, which is about half of the cost estimate for the structural work, and then we can apply to the major funding agencies for the rest. [Those agencies (such as the Lotteries Board) require communities to show they're "serious with their money" before pitching in large sums from outside.] From then on, we would expect that building could commence at latest in time for the 2019-20 summer season (that is, construction during late 2018 and into 2019). See our Fundraising page.

What are the various stages of the project, and when will each be done?
The first stage is the all-important enclosing of the pool. This will require the bulk of the money raised. The concept design has been completed and the cost estimate as of mid 2017 is around $800,000. In order for the facility to be effectively shared between the school and the community, the changing facilities for the public, plus a reception and office at the north entrance will also need to be constructed within or connected to the building shell. The 33m pool will also be divided into a competition-size 25m main pool and a smaller warmup/warmdown pool. The second stage will provide a warm 20m-long therapeutic pool attached to the building, which will require facilities to heat the pool and then perhaps the main pool, thus extending the swimming season even further. Heating of the main pool during the colder months (if demand is sufficient) will be a later project stage, requiring further fundraising perhaps around 2020. More information here.

Will the covered pool be able to be used year-round?
At present, the outdoor pool is usable for around 3 months per year. Enclosing the pool is expected to extend this period by another 3 to 6 months, without needing to heat the water. The therapeutic pool, when added, will be smaller but heated, allowing for more swimming in the cold months. If a heating facility for the main pool is installed in a later stage, this will further extend the swimming season, possibly to be year round.

Will the pool be heated?
Provided the community assists with the raising of funds to complete the project, the goal is to use, either partly or fully, solar heating to heat the water. Initially this may be just the water in the 20m therapeutic pool, but it may be extended then or later to the whole of the pool. That is the ultimate goal.

How will the pool be shared with the high school students?
The facility will be run by Good Sports Motueka and will allow the high school to continue its use for curriculum activities (such as learning to kayak) as before, or even more so considering the extended season. There will be times when the school will reserve some lanes for classes, and occasionally the whole pool for events, but generally the pool's use will be according to schedules worked out between the operators and the school season by season. In general swimming hours open to the public will be well publicised and known. The schedules will be worked out to best justify the capital expenditure and maintenance costs. Both the school (through the fees it currently pays for maintenance) and the community (through admission charges) will pay for use of the pool. More information here.

Will the pool be used on weekends and during school and statutory holidays?
Weekend and school holiday use will be trialled over a few months to get a proper demand trend for pool usage. It is important that long-term financial viability is maintained so that costs for poolside staff match the number of users at the various opening times.

How can I make a donation?
We have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to make a donation. Apart from personally giving money to a committee member, there are three standard channels: online using a Givealittle internet page, internet banking, and cheque. You may also donate money during one of our many and regular fundraising community events. Go to our "Make a Donation" page for details.

How will any donation I make be recognised?
We value every donation made to this project and endeavour to express our appreciation with a 'Thank You' letter or email. For all donations of $100 or more that are not anonymous, will be acknowledged on donor boards which will be installed on the walls of the pool complex. There will be five categories of acknowledgements: Bronze - $100 to $499, Silver - $500 to $999, Gold - $1,000 to $4,999, Platinum - $5,000 to $9,999 and Diamond - $10,000 and upward. The space for the name written on the donor board will allow up to 24 letters. Note that all non-anonymous donors' details are being kept in case, for some unforeseen reason, a refund is needed.